Monday, 11 December, 2017

Ireland set to collect $15b in tax from Apple

People wait in front of the Apple store in Munich before the worldwide launch of the iPhone 6s on Friday Sept. 25 2015 People wait in front of the Apple store in Munich before the worldwide launch of the iPhone 6s on Friday Sept. 25 2015
Juana Turner | 06 December, 2017, 00:17

The Ireland Department of Finance announced it has reached an agreement with Apple Inc.to put almost $15 billion in escrow while its dispute with the European Commission over alleged unpaid taxes proceeds through the courts.

In September 2016, a European Commission investigation concluded that two rulings provided by the Irish Government had "substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991".

So the Commission referred the Irish government to the European Court of Justice in October due to Ireland's non-compliance with the 2016 ruling.

While it may seem the tax rate Ireland sets for Apple is only their own business, Ireland is also a recipient of aid from the European Union, of which they would need less of if they collected more actual tax from the businesses based there. It is important that we send a strong message that Ireland remains an attractive and stable location of choice for long-term substantive investment. Not only is it ethically questionable, the European Commission declared this as state-aid which is illegal. The deadline for Ireland to recover the money expired in January 2017.

iPhone maker Apple has agreed to pay Ireland $15.46 billion in back taxes by early 2018.

Apple is just one of many technology companies whose tax arrangements in Europe have been criticized.

Apple also said that it is "the largest taxpayer in the world" and that it "pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world". In November, the now infamous "Paradise Papers" revealed that Apple has moved some of its operations to Jersey, a part of the Channel Islands near the coast of France. We strongly support efforts from the global community toward comprehensive worldwide tax reform and a far simpler system, and we will continue to advocate for that.

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